Leeds teenager allowed to stay in the country after over-turning Home Office ruling

Supporters of Hossein Ahmadi outside the tribunal court in Bradford today.
Supporters of Hossein Ahmadi outside the tribunal court in Bradford today.
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A teenager living in Leeds after fleeing Iran when he was 14 has been granted leave to stay in the UK at an immigration hearing.

Hossein Ahmadi, 17, feared he would be arrested, tortured or even executed if he were to return despite the Home Office ruling it is safe for him to go back to his home country.

Read more background: I Fear I'll Be Murdered.

In a hearing at Bradford's Tribunal Centre today (Tuesday) Mr Ahmadi appealed against the Home Office verdict flanked by his foster parents, college tutors and around 100 students from his Performing Arts course at Leeds City College where he has been a student since September last year.

After the verdict that gives him leave to remain for five years, Mr Ahmadi, of Beeston, told the Yorkshire Evening Post: "I feel really emotional. I could not believe it, it is like a dream. I did not think the answer would be today. It usually takes a few weeks.

The hearing heard that Mr Ahmadi fled Iran aged 14 after his older brother was taken prisoner during a government raid on the family’s home in late 2015. He was taken by 'an agent' to the refugee camp at Dunkirk in France and smuggled into the UK in a lorry until he got out in Leeds.

He has not seen or heard from his mother or brother in three years and his case centred around arguments that he would be punished for their political beliefs.

A Home Office representative told the court Mr Ahmadi was "someone who has fabricated for asylum in the UK" due to discrepancies in evidence and statements about exact dates relating to when he fled the family home and different dates of birth used.

However, Judge JR Neville rejected the Home Office case and made the unusual step of making a decision today and said: "It is declared that the appellent is telling the truth and the circumstances of what he left."